Drug Enforcement Administration

New Orleans

Brad L. Byerley, Special Agent in Charge

May 15, 2017

Contact: SA Debbie Webber

Phone Number: (571) 362-4803

Final Member Of Gulf Coast Drug Trafficking Ring Sentenced To Lengthy Federal Prison Term

BATON ROUGE, La. - Thursday marks the fifth and final sentencing in a series of federal prosecutions aimed at a drug trafficking ring which operated in the Gulf Coast states. Kendall Lewis, age 27, of Lecanto, Florida, appeared before a Chief U.S. District Judge and was sentenced to 90 months imprisonment, announced Drug Enforcement (DEA) Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge Brad L. Byerley and Acting United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson.
Lewis had previously pled guilty to conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Previously, Kareem McKinnon, age 25, of Crystal River, Florida, was convicted of the same offense, in August of 2016, after a multi-day jury trial, and Arthur William Armstrong, age 34, of Crystal River, Florida, pled guilty to the same offense. McKinnon was previously sentenced to serve 96 months in federal prison, and Armstrong was sentenced to serve 84 months in federal prison.
The evidence at McKinnon’s trial established that Armstrong, Lewis and McKinnon made multiple trips to the Houston, Texas area in early 2015, during which they would obtain distribution-level quantities of cocaine. The three co-conspirators used female co-conspirators to drive the cocaine back to Florida, while Armstrong, Lewis and McKinnon followed the car containing the cocaine back to Florida. The cocaine would then be distributed for profit in Florida. On February 9, 2015, after one such trip to Houston, the co-conspirators were arrested while driving through Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and found to be transporting more than 4 kilograms of cocaine.
This matter was investigated by the DEA, with valuable assistance from the Baton Rouge Police Department and the Louisiana State Police.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.
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